Learn how paleontologists uncover past events that led to the fossilization of a community of sea creatures millions of years ago. In the Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit, students will excavate a model rock formation, make a map, record their observations in a science notebook, and compare their observations to reference materials.
Big Concepts include: 1) law of superposition; 2) law of cross-cutting; 3) geologic time; 4) index fossils; 5) relative age dating; and 6) paleoenvironmental reconstruction.
Scientific Inquiry Skills include: 1) fossil excavation; 2) map making; 3) scientific illustration; and 4) use of science notebooks.
Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Tutorials
- Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Use Instructions (complete teacher guide)
- Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Clean-Up & Repacking Instructions
- Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Material List
Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Resources
- Blank Excavation Map Template
- Blank Fossil Species Time Table Template
- Science Notebook Template (for use in lieu of Science Notebooks)
- Science Notebook Template (Spanish version)
- Science Notebook Evaluation Rubric
- Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Classroom Discussion Questions
- Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kit Instruction Booklet
(available upon request – email name and school to Dr. Andrew Warnock)
Other Useful Resources
- Crinoid Video Clip
- Evolution and the Fossil Record (American Geologic Institute & The Paleontological Society)
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science Prehistoric Journey Exhibit
- Cosmic Evolution (Harvard University)
- ChronoZoom Project
- Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (published by the National Academies of Sciences)
Borrowing Really Ancient Fossils STEM Kits
There is no charge to educators who wish to borrow any of our STEM kits, however, this kit is only available for Local Pick-Up Loaning due to the extreme weight of the sand used in the kits, making it impractical to ship. Return loan application forms to Courtney Butler via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (970-491-7716).
In the bones of the rock
The fossils are living,
Crinoid and ammonite;
In the red of the rock
(Sandstone and hematite)
The fossils are moving,
Aching for the sea.
– Norman Nicholson